We laugh, we cry, we cuss. And then we make promises to ourselves to do better next year. As we countdown to the April 15th tax filing deadline, some people are glad the task is done, and some are wondering if they will manage to file on time or need to request an extension. Returns filed, or not quite; most people find themselves wishing they had done something differently over the past year. Maybe we should skip New Year’s resolutions and set Tax Time resolutions instead!

Few people like preparing for tax time. For many, it is time consuming and stressful; and playing catch up is the worst. This time of year can be particularly busy for small business owners. After all, you are the captain AND crew of your ship. While searching for receipts, we promise to keep better records and get more organized this year. What happens next is the key to our tax prep success.

Taking steps to get organized NOW is what will save you time and increase the accuracy of your records. Start keeping good records. Start getting organized. Find a bookkeeping system that makes it easy to keep up through out the year. Good records make for more accurate tax returns. Good records also mean that you’ll be ready for a tax audit if necessary; and chances are if you are ready you are less likely to need to haul them out. If you don’t have good records, the IRS seems more likely to ask for them. Karma maybe?

For many, tax preparation is also a learning experience to see what their annual profits were. Wouldn’t it be nice to know how you are doing during the year so you could make adjustments to positively affect your business’s revenue? As you wrap up this filing season, take note of what worked for you and what didn’t. Then, take action now to ensure you breeze through your tax filing next year. You’ll be glad you did. Promise.